Undercurrents (Hoorn-Malacca)

Undercurrents (Hoorn-Malacca) is a series of watercolours based on the copies of artifacts the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, the Netherlands made for the History and Ethnography Museum in Malacca, Malaysia. Between 1641 and 1825 the city of Malacca was a strategically and economically important trade post for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Netherlands. Being the city’s longest period of foreign control, there is still much in the language and buildings in Malacca that remind of this period. One such building is the Stadhuys (the old spelling for the Dutch word for city hall), located on the Dutch Square, and built in 1650 after the city hall of Hoorn in the Netherlands. Almost 350 years later, with the original city hall in Hoorn long gone and the building in Malacca having been transformed into a museum, the two cities embark on a ‘cultural exchange’. Based on artifacts from their own collection, including many 17th century objects that refer to the colonial activities of the Dutch, the Westfries Museum in Hoorn provides the museum in Malacca with modern-day copies that now function as the tools by which school children in Malaysia learn about their own history.

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